CALSTART’s Drive to Zero and the Netherlands Announce Latest Global MOU Signatory Nations at the International Transport Forum; ZEVWISE Global Green Corridors Initiative Launched

Leipzig, Germany—CALSTART’s global Drive to Zero™ program and the Government of the Netherlands just announced that Seychelles, Tonga, and Costa Rica have signed the ambitious Global Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Zero-Emission Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles, a promise to reach 100 percent zero-emission new truck and bus sales by 2040, and at least 30 percent by 2030. Additionally, the ZEVWISE Coalition, a collaborative initiative of 11 leading global partners—consisting of governments, development finance institutions, and nonprofit organizations—announced the launch of a global effort to successfully advance an initial set of freight corridors touching nearly every continent by 2026. These corridors are autonomously managed and together establish a reshaped global decarbonized transport future. Both announcements were made at a press event earlier today at ITF.

Global MOU
The Global MOU community consists of leading countries, industry, and thought leaders that work together to decarbonize medium- and heavy-duty transport for improved public health in communities and restored environments. Since COP26, 36 countries have signed the Global MOU and 151 sub-national governments, businesses, knowledge partners, and organizations have endorsed it, sending a clear market signal that narrowing emissions can be achieved through policy, financing, and strategic collaboration.

“Costa Rica has set increasingly challenging goals to achieve total decarbonization of the economy: We began with the development of an electrical matrix with a 95 percent share of renewables. We then developed solid financing mechanisms for environmental service payments and the strengthening of the natural resources sector. We promote resilience across populations, production, and the ecosystem in the face of decarbonization. We have presented to the world the Sustainable Agro-landscape Initiative and the “Zero Deforestation” nation branding. It is clear that to strengthen all these initiatives, the next step is to pursue a different transportation system for Costa Rica, one that relies on more efficient technologies, is accessible to Costa Ricans, and above all low in emissions in order to meet our 2050 goals. For this reason, we have decided to join the Global MOU: to be able to work in a coordinated manner with other member countries and organizations toward a common objective of transforming the commercial vehicle sector to zero emissions,” said Randall Zúñiga Madrigal, Director of Energy, Costa Rica.

“It is an honor and privilege for Seychelles to be part of this community. Even of our small size and negligible contribution to the worldwide greenhouse gas emissions, we are committed toward the global effort to achieve net zero,” said Elvis Octave, Chief Technical Advisor, Ministry of Transport, Seychelles. “As a Small Island Developing State, we have a lot to learn, and we are looking ahead with optimism for the benefits that we will reap through networking, capacity building, and knowledge sharing. Through the community we are also calling out for technical, technological, and infrastructural support. As a developing state, we lack the financing for deployment and acceleration of medium- and heavy-duty electric vehicles, especially in public transportation. Through the Global MOU, we hope to get assistance to access financing and/or for the development of financing mechanisms for developing states, or to get sponsors for our first deployment.”

“The Department of Energy is excited to be part of this Global MOU as it presents a strong step in the direction necessary to achieve Tonga’s aims and aligns with government commitments to increase climate ambitions and to catch up with global best practice,” said Vatulele Tuputupu, Acting Chief Executive Officer of MEIDECC, Tonga. “This is also a significant contribution to the National Energy Policy (TERM Plus) target in limiting growth in oil consumption for road transport to 25 percent for the period 2019–2035 by putting Tonga in a global platform to engage in conversations and discussions with stakeholders on the developing renewable technology in the transport sector.”

“Three years ago, we (CALSTART and the Netherlands) launched our global initiative to help accelerate the transition to zero-emission trucks and buses. Since then, dozens of countries have signed our Global MOU, and today, Costa Rica, Seychelles, and Tonga have joined our community. Bold ambitions are needed to achieve our goals, and I am glad to see more and more countries recognizing this and joining our movement,” said Mark Harbers, Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management of the Netherlands.

“We applaud these countries for taking this monumental step toward decarbonizing transport for the well-being of local communities and the planet. The Global MOU community is delighted to welcome Seychelles, Tonga, and Costa Rica, and we are steadfast in our commitment to support the collective achievement of 100 percent zero-emitting trucks and buses across the world,” said Stephanie Kodish, Senior Director for CALSTART’s Drive to Zero program. “Cleaner air and well-paying job opportunities are on the horizon, and collaborative global efforts like the ZEVWISE Green Corridors Initiative will ensure that ambition meets transformative action to soon reap the benefits of driving toward zero.”

ZEVWISE’s Global Green Corridors Initiative
ZEVWISE’s focus on green road corridors represents the vital routes connecting ports, hubs, highways, and cities that truckers driving clean energy vehicles need to use to sustain local economies and facilitate the movement of goods. By sharing and building on knowledge, tools, and experiences from leading partners and networks, the green corridors will showcase how accelerating and securing each corridor’s success will capture commonalities and lessons across regions and countries to function as a blueprint for replication at scale.

One of the initial corridors planned will come from the U.S. Department of Transportation, working with the governments of Canada and Mexico, and state and provincial-level authorities to establish North America’s first tri-national electric vehicle charging corridor by 2026 in recognition of the FIFA World Cup.

Through the initiative, ZEVWISE aims to generate and demonstrate holistic models for successful infrastructure deployment and finance as a pathway forward to revolutionize the future of freight.

“WBCSD believes in public-private sector collaboration to accelerate the adoption of green infrastructure, with a notable focus on trucks and road freight corridors. We look forward to seeing stakeholders of this community join forces with us and leading platforms like the Road Transport Breakthrough Agenda to scale ambition and allow for the quick creation of large-scale investment opportunities for trucking,” said Thomas Deloison, Director, Transport & Mobility, WBCSD.

For more information about Drive to Zero’s current and upcoming initiatives, visit the website today.

About Drive to Zero
Drive to Zero is a program of clean transportation accelerator CALSTART and an official campaign of the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM). We and our partners are helping top global government officials and private-sector innovators reach an ambitious goal of 100 percent new zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicle sales by the year 2040 under the Global MOU. The program is working to accelerate the decarbonization of commercial vehicles through global partnerships, innovative tools, groundbreaking research, and education.